Last month I did something you don’t do every day: I went to my very first erotic writer’s convention. Yup. Smut Manchester, to be precise.
And, yes, it was 1. smutty, and 2. in Manchester, so they got the title bang on the money.
Safe to say, it was one of the most mundanely surreal days of my life.
My good friend Jennifer Denys is a published author and writer of erotic romance and she very kindly invited me along. As a writer, I’ve always got a few stories on the bubble and one genre I’ve not yet touched is erotica, either straight up or with a bit of romance thrown in. It’s not something I’ve thought about.
But that’s all changed. And how.
I got the trans-pennine train to Manchester and got lost, both getting to, and in, the hotel where it was being held, spending the first 10 minutes wandering and lurking around the place, muttering surreptitiously to various hotel staff members unlucky enough to bump into me: “Smut..? Excuse me, do you know where I can find Smut..?”. My self-conscious murmuring turned out to be pretty pointless as most of the staff weren’t English and didn’t understand me, although I was surrounded by delegates from a Deaf Signers convention that had spread out into the lobby so at least they will have picked it up…
Anyhoo, I finally found it – down a bit of a rabbit hole (anyone would’ve thought they wanted to keep us out of the way!) – and sidled into my seat, late as usual. But, thankfully in time to hear the talented *Ashley Lister read his wonderfully bawdy poem: The Ballad of Poor Dave , which had us all laughing our heads off – and had me rolling around like a Smash Robot. Very funny.
I’ve described the conference as “mundane” but I don’t really mean it because that would be to insult Smut and its members. What I actually mean is that there was an ordinariness about the day that was really quite extraordinary, given its subject. The delegates and speakers were lovely and perfectly…well…normal – not what you’d expect from an erotic writing conference.
Although not everyone was “normal”, as evidenced by the glorious apparition that was Sister Jaqui (she’s the one in the middle). Praise be.
In fact, the impossibly fantabulous Sister was a star player in the craziest moment of the day. Picture a snapshot of a young, half-naked man, tied up in all kinds of leather and steel and with a ball gag in his mouth, being whipped by a 6ft 4 nun in a 1950’s cherry-print prom dress and red PVC platform boots. With a beard. In a hotel conferencing centre in central Manchester on a drizzly mid-November Saturday. As you do.
All in all, a cracking kinky day with lots of interesting stuff going on and fascinating people to meet – although it did make me realise that I don’t have a kinky bone in my body (I’m a right goer though! Oh yes ;)). Oh, and I won a bottle of lube on the tombola. Organic lube, at that.
Smut left me with inspiration and lots of naughty ideas – a fantastic kickstart to my erotic writing adventures.
Watch this space.
*Ashley’s blog: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/